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September 29, 2006

Comments

Ray Tetz

Monte,
Here's the link to the widely quoted LA Times story on this topic:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-holyatm28sep28,0,6671307,full.story

I've always wondered when we would start seeing point of purchase materials actually in the sanctuary.

Monte

Thanks, Ray! This is an excellent article.

Selin

No information about the cost, but it seems a "no-brainer" to me.

Do you mean "no brainer" as in churches should embrace this? I personally am not comfortable with coming to fellowship with God and believers in a church that looks like a mall. ATMs trigger too much of a shopping mode in my mind. I would rather set-up a direct deposit into my church's account so I won't even have to think about it. The money is God's anyways. Why should I see it in my bank account?

My main reason for wanting direct deposit is because I've noticed an alarming trend in my personal habits since I started my full-time job. When I was a student, I had much less money, so I volunteered in the community, in my church, in my university. Now, I feel like I've done my job once my check hits the offering plate. I wonder how many other people feel this way. I wonder if this personal trend can be reversed if I never see money being transfered from me to the church and so am forced to ask myself what I'm doing for God and perhaps will be reminded to give of my time as well as my money.

Alexander

Here's a good point via The Revealer.

"What is also interesting about the piece is the fact that all the churches who have decided to go with the ATMs have been Protestant. Fausset explains the pattern by pointing out that, although the Baker congregation liked the idea of the ATM and an electric house band playing “Dream On,” a Catholic Church isn’t an “Aerosmith kind of place.” Anyone familiar with the Reformation might suspect it’s probably more complicated than that."

http://www.therevealer.org/archives/timely_002655.php

Monte

Selin, you make an excellent point about giving. It is the Lord's money and the best practice is to give it to Him "off the top" and never see it as part of what you could spend. Your suggestion of a direct deposit is probably a more pertinent use of new technology than the offering machine.

But, don't forget that passing the plate was new technology several hundred years ago. It was not readily accepted by many Christians at first. Passing money under my nose while I sit in worship (or mentioning the church heating bill from pulpit in an offering appeal) can cause my mind to drift to purely commercial concerns at times. It is hard work under any conditions to keep the focus of worship on the spiritual and still keep it relevant to the practical, without diverting attention entirely to the mundane context we all live in. It would be less costly, I am sure, and less obtrusive for a church set up direct deposit and on-line giving mechanisms than to install one of these machines.

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